What is a WordPress Implementor?

There’s a lot of confusion about what people who make WordPress sites should call themselves. Recently, Tom McFarlin, a long-time WordPress Developer, wondered if Developer was too broad of a term, and if it actually added more confusion than clarity. He proposed the term WordPress Implementor to describe what a lot of WordPress professionals actually do.

Here’s a quick highlight of the differences between a developer and implementor from Tom McFarlin’s original post:

Implementers will most likely:

  • Select a theme from a reputable and trusted source
  • Customize the theme using artwork provided to them
  • Take advantage of some of the theme options to tweak the look and feel
  • Install a few plugins to improve the core functionality of the site
  • Perform the necessary feedback loops and iterate until ready
  • Launch between their local machine and production
  • …and probably a little more that I’m missing.

A programmer (well,  a good programmer), on the other hand, will likely do something more like this:

  • Partner with a designer to come up with some comps for a design
  • Get sign off on the client’s favorite design
  • Create a custom theme based off of the approved design
  • Identify the points of the theme that don’t have to do with presentation, but are necessary for the site and either use a premium plugin, a high-rated plugin, or build the functionality themselves
  • Maintain the work in source control tagging each iteration
  • Have deployments from development to staging, and staging to production
  • Perform the necessary feedback loops and iterate until ready
  • …and probably a little more that I’m missing.

Even though I’m also a Developer, I also proudly wear the title of WordPress Implementor because I find that it’s often the role that most people need. Sure there are some people and businesses that need a full on developer to solve their solutions, but for most an Implementor is better suited to their needs. As McFarlin points out:

…from a business standpoint, it may look as if it’s a better business decision to hire an implementer. You can still get good work, probably faster, and cheaper. If you hire a programmer, the work will take longer, and be more expensive (after all, time is money, as they say).

As an Implementor, I can provide websites quickly and at a lower cost. However, if you do need a developer I’d be happy to help as well!